One thing is certain, Facebook will never be accused of standing still. After seeing attention being pulled away by more visual sites like Instagram and Pinterest, Facebook knew something had to be done.
They’re decision? Revamp the newsfeed.
Facebook will immediately start rolling out the updated newsfeed, but you may not notice it for a few more weeks. To ensure it is well received, they are slowly pushing it out to allow for feedback and testing.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES
The company’s tagline is “Less Clutter, More Stories”, and VP of Product Chris Cox added that the changes were intended to make the product more immersive. In other words, a greater emphasis on photos.
Photos will now be significantly larger in the newsfeed, and in fact will be almost the same size as when you would historically click on an image to enlarge it. All of the recent data has suggested that images receive the greatest engagement from friends / fans, so this is a smart move for a company that needs users to spend an ever increasing amount of time onsite (and clicking ads).
There is also a more consistent user experience across devices, which is a move that was long overdue.
Content-specific feeds however may be the most important change. To continue with the “less clutter” vibe, you can now decide what type of content to consume. Instead of sorting through music updates, your friend’s baby photos, and your extended family’s Farmville updates, Facebook has finally given the user the ability to create their own experience.
The ability to toggle the type of content is an interesting move, and one that could definitely impact brands.
HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHANGES
Facebook’s intent is clearly to increase time onsite and the overall user experience, so while the impact has yet to be fully determined, businesses should be aware of these changes and start thinking strategically about their approach.
How would I do this? Think visually!
Images will be larger in the newsfeed including those used in ads (hint hint), the “following” feed gives brands a boost as their fans will now be able to see more of their content, and Facebook did 3rd party a solid by making their content more immersive as well. Welcome news for apps like Spotify, Pinterest, and even our own Community Rewards.
We will continue to update our blog as we evaluate these and any future changes to the platform, so check back often.